iPhonetography: Fisheye Photography with the Olloclip iPhone Lens Clip-On System



Hey there point-of-viewers! My name is Erik and I’m an employee here at Point Of View Camera. I love everything to do with photography and videography and will be writing a weekly column about iPhone photography, or as I like to call it, iPhonetography. As we all know, whether you like it or not, the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile phone world; and with the advent of the iPhone 4 and 4s, it has also revolutionized the photography world as well. No longer are we forced to carry around a point and shoot camera to compensate for our mobile phone’s sub-par camera; we now have phone cameras with high megapixel counts, larger sensors, quality glass, and all sorts of other optical enhancing goodness. Inevitably, due to the iPhone’s (deserved) popularity, and its awesome camera, there are now a bevy of products out there to enhance the already stellar pictures you can take with it.

A really cool perspective looking “inside” an old delivery van:
helmet cam

Last week I talked about the amazing macro lens included with the Olloclip, today I’m going to talk about the fisheye lens. The fisheye is the largest of the three lenses included, and has an incredible field-of-view; it is seriously wide, I kept having to ask my assistant (AKA Dad) to move back as he was in the frame even though he almost behind me! Fisheye gives a very distinct look, I’d say this is the first lens to try of the three, as it gives the most initial ‘wow’ factor. Some people aren’t fans of the distortion it causes, personally I really like the curved lines and huge field of view it gives you, not for every photo of course, but it is a cool effect to have once in a while. Having such a wide field of view can be very helpful; if you need to capture a whole room shot for example, a normal wide angle lens would just not cut it, but the fisheye would allow you to capture 3 corners, roof and ceiling of a small room. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Fisheye view of canyon:
helmet cam

I took the Olloclip on a recent hike and got some great photos. There is a really cool trail near my house that I like to hike on occasionally, it starts at the top of a large dam and basically follows the top edge of a deep canyon for a couple miles. The coolest part is the “car graveyard” as we call it, in the forested section of the trail. In the ‘30s and ‘40s the area was logged, so people would just drive up to the steep incline above the cliff and push their cars, wheels, washing machines etc. down the edge of the incline. Fast forward 60 years and the forest has reclaimed the area. It makes for a very eerie setting, great fodder for the camera, especially with a fisheye lens! You’ll be walking through the forest, and all of the sudden you’ll come upon an old delivery truck with a tree going through it, or even find an old studebaker on a cliff’s edge. It’s a very unique area, perfect for testing out new camera gear!

Cool perspective on an old car in the woods:
helmet cam

Below are some images that I took with the fisheye lens. One thing that I don’t like about fisheye lenses is that their image circle doesn’t fill up the whole sensor so you’re left with a circular image in the middle with black borders around it, this of course comes with the territory and is necessary to display that wide of a view. On a few of the photos below I’ve provided examples of images that have the image circle issue corrected, via lens correction, cloning and a little cropping. Thanks for tuning in!

An old car before correction in photoshop:
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Use the lens correction filter in photoshop, perhaps clone in some areas in the corner, add a little crop and voila!:
helmet cam


My dog Dexter after applying the same treatment to the image above:
helmet cam

 

 

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iPhonetography: Macro Photography with the Olloclip iPhone Lens Clip-On System



Hey there point-of-viewers! My name is Erik and I’m an employee here at Point Of View Camera. I love everything to do with photography and videography and will be writing a weekly column about iPhone photography, or as I like to call it, iPhonetography. As we all know, whether you like it or not, the iPhone has revolutionized the mobile phone world; and with the advent of the iPhone 4 and 4s, it has also revolutionized the photography world as well. No longer are we forced to carry around a point and shoot camera to compensate for our mobile phone’s sub-par camera; we now have phone cameras with high megapixel counts, larger sensors, quality glass, and all sorts of other optical enhancing goodness. Inevitably, due to the iPhone’s (deserved) popularity, and its awesome camera, there are now a bevy of products out there to enhance the already stellar pictures you can take with it.

Today I am going to talk about macro photography with the iPhone. There are several products that offer external lens systems for the iPhone, but my favorite is the Olloclip. It’s an extremely clever 3-in-1 lens system that clips on to the corner of the iPhone 4 or 4s. It has a wide angle, fisheye, and macro lens all in one little device. The largest lens is the fisheye, flip it around and you have an awesome wide angle lens (approximately double the field-of-view of the standard iPhone camera). The macro lens is actually part of the wide angle lens assembly. Simply unscrew the wide angle lens in the direction of the arrow on the lens barrel. The macro lens is set perfectly within the olloclip and will be flush with the clip when the Wide Angle lens is removed. Place the olloclip back on your iPhone and move right in on the subject. It is extremely compact, you barely even notice it in your pocket; therefore it’s possible, and recommended, to bring it everywhere your iPhone goes (which is likely everywhere you go as well).

helmet cam

The macro lens is pretty much awesome, it can get some seriously up-close shots. When I said "move right in on your subject" I meant it, literally, only a centimeter or so away. This results in some spectacular close-up images. There is a little bit of a learning curve when first using the macro lens, but once you get to used to it, it’s pretty amazing. At first I couldn’t believe how close you have to get to your subject in order to focus - it’s seriously close - however, the end results are larger-than-life images from a perspective the naked eye just can’t capture.

This is a true macro. You may have seen macro lenses described as 1:1 and wondered what that means, as at first it seems like things are much larger than 1:1 when using a macro lens. What this actually means is that things captured by a macro lens are as large on the image sensor of the camera as they are in real life. So if you had a fly sitting on your image sensor, a true 1:1 macro photo would result in that fly taking up just as much room in the image as it did on the physical sensor (pretty much the whole sensor, on smaller sensors like phone cameras have); meaning that you’d have a heck of a lot of detail. This macro lens is at least a 1:1, likely much more.

I took the Olloclip out on a hike a few days ago and got some seriously awesome images. The pictures come out very sharp and detailed, I was certainly wowed. There is definitely a little barrel distortion and some sharpness fall-off as you get away from the center, but that’s to be expected. Below are some of the macro shots I took with the Olloclip (click for a larger version). Enjoy! I’ll be back next week with some photos taken with the fantastic fisheye lens.

Here’s a macro of some multi-colored lichen I found on a rock while climbing dangereously close to a 60m cliff!
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Everyday moss turns in to alien coral when viewed through the Olloclip’s macro lens.
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Here’s a shot of the moss with the wide angle lens to show just how close the macro lens can get.
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A close up of 50 year old rust.
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Heli Skiing With The ContourRoam In BC



Untitled from marko solo on Vimeo.

Our buddy Mark Sissons is featured on the home page of Huffingtonpost’s travel section. He talks about his wild time taking a heli skiing course in BC’s Cariboo mountains. Where heli skiiing used the be for rich extreme sports fans. These new courses are bringing a measure of safety and accessibility to advanced skiers who want to try their hand at heli skiing. He took one of our ContourRoam cameras with him and you can check out the footage above.
Mark tells us.

Helicopter assisted skiing and snowboarding in Western Canadian mountain ranges like the Cariboos, Selkirks and Bugaboos is hard to beat if you’re looking for massive amounts of varied terrain and unmatched snow conditions.

Now almost every skier can live their wildest downhill dream of riding in helicopters, dropping into a cloud encrusted virgin peak, drive through wide areas untouched by anyone else’s tracks. It’s like living your own Warren Miller movie, sliding between tree tips half buried in pristine, glistening white powder.

Check out our Contour Canada cameras section for more info on the Contour Roam.

 

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Mobislyder-Smartphone Camera Dolly For iPhone, Android and GoPros



iphone camera dolly mobislyder Mobislyder with iPhone. android camera dolly mobislyder-point and shoot dolly Mobislyder with point and shoot mount.

As we at Pointofviewcameras are expanding our product offerings to service the burgeoning smartphone and dslr videographers, we scour the web for interesting products that our customers would be interested in. We often will buy a demo unit to try out. After testing in the field, some make it to our shortlist and we end up stocking them or they fail our criteria and they are forgotten.

The Mobislyder is one product that has come onto our radar that we think will be a good addition to our product portfolio. It meets our criterias for what we think smartphone videographers are looking for.

For the most part we have discovered smartphone gadgets for portable videographers must be the following:

  • low cost: with smartphones either being free or $100 to $200 for a high end phone on contract; users do not want to spend several hundred dollars on a photo accessory
  • portable: well, duh, the whole idea of using a smartphone for photos and video is the convenience factor so the accessories must be small and light as well
  • sexy: the iPhone and Droids are high tech looking devices; nobody wants to put their fancy phone on a gadget that looks like it was cobbled together in a basement
  •  

The Mobislyder meets most of our criteria. We would prefer the device was less than $100 but it looks well designed and has multiple attachments so hopefully the build will justify the cost. For a track and camera dolly system it certainly is the most portable we have seen. It should be able to fit in a backpack or messenger bag. The round feet and rail system looks pretty high tech so it fits the “sexy” criteria.

The Mobislyder comes with several mounts:
-an articulated mount so it can be turned on an angle
-mobile device mount to fit the iPhone, Android and other smartphones; you can even use it with your camera case on
-1/4” standard mount for point and shoot cameras
-adhesive ball mount
-1/4” ball mount
For those Contour and Gopro camera fanatics among you who think this would be great for tracking shots in sports, yes, the 1/4” mount will work with those cameras.
We hope to order one in for testing and review very soon so watch for our upcoming blog post on the Mobislyder.

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